U.S. may extend some privacy rights to Europeans

EU justice chief Viviane Reding has welcomed a proposal by the Obama administration to give Europeans a right to judicial redress if their data, sent to the U.S. by authorities in their home country, has been abused.

Google should have been fined $1B over privacy policy, says EU justice chief

When France’s privacy regulator fined Google(s goog) €150,000 ($204,000) over its unified privacy policy, it was the biggest fine the national watchdog could muster. According to EU justice chief Viviane Reding, however, it was “pocket money” that would be vastly outweighed by the amount Google could be fined under upcoming EU-wide data protection legislation. “Europe needs to get serious,” she said in a speech, noting that the new law would allow fines of up to 2 percent of global turnover — $1 billion in Google’s case – and maybe actually lead the targets to change their ways. Guess she’s still mad at Google’s global privacy counsel calling the first, much-lobbied draft of her legislation “dead”.

Europe should have its own NSA, EU commissioner suggests

What’s the sensible reaction to the NSA spying on European countries (with, ahem, some cooperation of those countries’ own intelligence agencies)? According to European Commissioner Viviane Reding, who is in charge of justice, the answer is… more spying!

Reding apparently told a Greek newspaper on Monday that the EU should have a proper counterpart to the NSA — “so we can level the playing field with our U.S. partners” — by 2020. She may have been speaking “off the cuff” and it’s very unlikely to happen (member states handle their own national security), but it’s still an odd suggestion when spying victims such as Germany are trying to rein in the global espionage frenzy, not ramp it up.